Top Headlines: Alabama hacker arrested in LA, Cyber Monday sales to hit record

Alabama hacker arrested after cryptocurrency talk in North Korea
An Alabama hacker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday on charges that he provided information about cryptocurrency to North Korea despite a federal ban. Virgil Griffith was presented in federal court Monday, charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said Griffith knew “this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions.” –

Still on top: ‘Cyber Monday’ sales on track to hit record
“Cyber Monday” is still holding up as the biggest online shopping day of the year, even though the same deals have been available online for weeks and the name harks back to the days of dial-up modems. Shoppers are expected to spend a record $9.4 billion on purchases made on their phones and computers Monday, up about 19% from last year’s Cyber Monday. – AP

But remember, college sports aren’t about the money
While SEC championship prices are at their lowest point since the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta opened, the cheapest National Championship ticket is currently above $1,000, making it the fourth most expensive national championship tracked this decade, TicketiQ reports. If LSU is able to reach the final, prices could reach new highs. During LSU’s last visit to the national championship, in 2011, the cheapest ticket for sale at kickoff was $1,124. In 2017, when Alabama met Georgia in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the cheapest tickets reached an astronomical $1,725 just before kickoff. – Business Report

Catfish, seafood top the menu at Alabama’s Top O’ The River
For more than three decades, the Sharp family has served top-notch food at its chain of Top O’ The River restaurants across eastern Alabama. Top O’ The River first opened its doors in Anniston in 1982. The family later added locations in Gadsden in 1983 and Guntersville in 2002, along with a location on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee in 2012. Having multiple locations allows the Sharps to expand their brand while being close enough to their home to maintain day-to-day focus. – AL News Center

Charlotte-based fitness franchise to open studio in Huntsville
RockBox Fitness, a fitness franchise that combines boxing, kickboxing, and functional training into high-energy group workouts, has signed a franchise agreement for the development of one studio that will service the Huntsville market. The brand’s first Alabama location will be owned and operated by Huntsville residents Brian and Brittney Mecomber. – Franchising

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Alabama farmer looking to raise cash with carbon storage
Deep in west Alabama, in a part of the state where most economic activity grows up from the ground, one woman is hoping to get paid for what she’s putting back into the soil. Aliceville farmer Annie Dee, who runs the Dee River Ranch in Pickens County, is one of a growing number of farmers who are signed up to get paid to sequester carbon in the soil using what are being called regenerative farm techniques. Dee uses a mixture of plants such as radishes, turnips, clover, winter peas and oats as cover crops for her 4,000 acres of row crops. The cover crops grow to different depths in the soil, providing a variety of benefits. – No-Till Farmer

Construction firm fined $34K+ for excavation hazards
Ballard Construction Co. of Kellyton faces $34,476 in fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following an incident where an employee was hospitalized after a trench collapse. OSHA announced the fines Monday against the sewer and water utilities contractor for “exposing employees to excavation hazards.” –

Mercedes-Benz bows out of the 2020 New York Auto Show
In some ways, auto shows are an endangered species. Aside from the internet, which has made vehicle shopping far easier than in the past, many car manufacturers seem to prefer hosting private vehicle reveals these days. This enables them to own the news cycle, rather than get lost in the buzz, vying with dozens of other companies for media attention. Underscoring this trend, Automotive News reports Mercedes-Benz will not be attending the upcoming New York Auto Show. – CNET

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